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  • Book Reviews,  Face Time

    Journey to Dreamtime

    The professor takes Sophie, Dylan and their two pets Monty and Naomi on a wild adventure
    The professor takes Sophie, Dylan and their two pets Monty and Naomi on a wild adventure

    I’ve been writing this blog for a few years now, in addition with my wonderful co-host Ann we have been interviewing the fascinating people we find for our podcast www.growingtrends.org

    Last year I was asked if we might develop a learning aid for children based on how we grow food, develop sustainable approaches to agriculture and cope with modern city life. I agreed because I felt we do need to help this planet of ours every so often.

    After much thinking coupled with the odd glass of wine – I’m fairly partial to a nice burgundy. This along with late night chats with friends and my lovely wife the small light bulb ( well it has to be an LED these days) began to flicker.

    “Why not make the learning an adventure story?”

    Journey to Dreamtime was born, currently available as an eBook it will soon be available as a paperback, you can see more here…www.journeytodreamtime.com


    Now available in a paperback, you can order either on Amazon or from BookLocker

    Please do let me know what you think…. book two is going to be based in America.

    Thank you.

    Views: 50

  • Book Reviews,  Face Time,  Podcasts

    Grandy’s Long walk – The Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia

    Grandy's long walk 1


    Ann and I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Stanley  after she had completed this 1000km walk.

    Linda undertook this walk on her own, it took the best part of 8 weeks to complete and more than three months to prepare for.

    Linda isn’t your average walker by any means,  she suffered some serious injuries  breaking her back in an accident. Being a somewhat determined lady she set about challenging herself  to literally get back on her feet again.

    We interviewed Linda in her new home, a beautiful chestnut farm in Nannup, Western Australia just after the launch of  the children’s book she wrote about her journey.

    ‘Grandy’s Long Walk’ is written for young children, superbly illustrated about her walk.

    Linda wrote the book out of a concern that children today spending less and less time with nature and more and more time in front of the small screen. She hopes to encourage more children to get outside and discover the same senses of wonder and joy of nature that she had experienced on her long walk in the forest.

    You can listen to her telling us all about this amazing journey below.

    We were so curious about this really long walk that during our research we found some youtube videos of other people who travel from all over the world to walk this track.

    Darren is one such person, he created  a video and kindly gave us permission to include it in this article. His video is just a part of the walk, you can view it here Bibbulmun track video   Darren is raising money for Diabetes  you can see his web site here   Darren’s website

    There is also a specialist web site filled with information for those who want to plan their own walk..The BIbbulman Track


    Views: 74

  • Face Time,  Podcasts

    Growing Trends interviews Bill Sosinsky on his recent trip to China

    Growing trends logo

    Hello everyone, we hope you like our new logo ?

    We have some great interviews planned for the next few months.

    Our first is with Bill Sosinsky , CEO of Energime University. Bill has recently returned from a trip to China. He talks to us about how the Chinese are adapting, planning and coping with the enormous growth the country has seen over the past few years.

    Cities of 5 – 10 million people built in under 10 years !

    This type of growth brings staggering infrastructure issues or as Bill says ” This is a big deal !”

    The interview is one of those must listen to events…  we all have seen or heard of the Great Wall of China, a quite amazing feat of building, as seen here.


    I wonder how many of us can comprehend the current building program?

    100 million homes in the next 5- 10 years…!

    That’s almost one third of the total housing in the USA


    Truly a monumental task of ingenuity, engineering and collaboration, Ann and I were just amazed  talking to Bill about the growing issues they are trying to solve.

    We will have two parts to this fascinating interview you can listen to the first part here….

    We would love to hear from you with ideas or suggestions on programs, either fill in the form below or just send us an email to info@grotrends.com

    Ann & Chris


    Views: 102

  • Face Time,  Garden Centers,  Podcasts

    Trends in European Garden Centers

    Ann is in Paris, France talking to Valerie Langendorff, President of a Women’s Garden Executive Club.
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    Valerie looks at Garden Centers from the ladies perspective in France, her ladies group have identified a number of interesting trends..

    Women make 70% of the purchase decisions.

    Currently 90% of Garden Centers are managed by men.

    They have developed an annual awards program judged by women.

    Ladies nights are arranged in the Garden Center

    They have an award for the most women friendly Garden Center.

    They have discovered that women like innovation more than men..

    You can listen to this fascinating interview here or on iTunes

    Views: 84

  • Face Time,  Garden Centers,  Podcasts

    If I were opening a Garden center today

    Garden Centers have evolved over the years, there are Independent Garden Centers often in a local neighborhood, there are larger groups with multiple locations.

    Many of the big box ‘Do it Yourself stores’ have larger and larger ‘Garden Center’ sections.

    The question recently has been where are they all heading.

    So Ann asked Sid & John – “If I were to open a Garden Center today what would be your recommendations?”

    Sid Raisch

    CEO of Horticultural Advantage (www.AdvantageDevelopmentSystem.com) , providing business expertise and extensive leadership training to small to medium horticultural businesses, primarily retail garden centers and selected wholesale suppliers.

    John Stanley.

    International retail guru is what people call me. Specialising in helping retail businesses to grow their bottom line and expand their market base. I work in 26 countries with retailers of all sizes. My expertise ranges from conference speaking to hands on management consultancy. My specialist retail areas are in perishable retailing – anything that will not last long without loving care on the shelf

    Garden Center

    Sid and John discuss future trends for gardens, garden centers, and our urban environment.

    This fascinating , very informative interview is going to have you thinking.

    Send us your thoughts to Growing Trends




    Views: 100

  • Face Time,  Gardenesque,  Podcasts

    Ann visits the Chelsea Physic garden

    It’s not often you find a garden that was founded in 1673 as The Apothecaries’ Garden

    Ann was on a trip to Europe recently and dropped in on the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden on the side of the river Thames in London.

    The garden’s purpose was to train apprentices in identifying plants. The gardens’ location close to the river created a warmer microclimate, significantly increasing the many non-native plants that could be grown.

    chelsea physic garden

    In 1700 the garden had started an international botanical garden seed exchange system, which continues to this day.

    The gardens cover some four acres and are leased on what is known as a peppercorn rent in perpetuity.

    They are without doubt one of London’s secret ‘gems’ and thoroughly worth a visit.

    chelsea physic garden

    The garden’s mission ” Linking people with plants and nature”

    The interview starts with Ann talking for around 8 minutes to a group of school children on a field trip, the gardens have over 100 such visits a year.  Ann then talks to Michael a very knowledgeable and extremely helpful member of staff. We kept all the typical inner city sounds on the recording – the enthusiasm of the children is very heartening.

    Integrated pest management is the preferred method of bug control…

    They have a project called “Shelf Life’ it is just an incredible way to show children where their food comes from

    You can also listen to Ann’s interview on iTunes at Growing Trends

    We would love to hear your comments and suggestions for a show… just send us an email to Growing Trends


    Views: 88

  • Book Reviews,  Face Time,  Podcasts

    Growing Trends : How we look at Food Tourism today

    Ann and I interviewed John Stanley of John Stanley Associates  recently about his new book, he jointly wrote with his wife Linda,

     Food Tourism – A Practical Marketing Guide.

    Food tourism

    The fastest growth in tourism today is the culinary sector.

    Listen to John as he explains the overall direction of food tourism, including how he sees future development.

    A few snip bits:

    Do you grow soil?

    25% of the food we buy comes from 2% of the farmland around our cities, which is being swallowed up by development.

    Farmers used to make 38 cents on every dollar now its down to an average of just 6 cents

    Eating local seasonal food saves you around 25%, and is actually healthier for you!

    You can hear this really informative interview here (click below) or on iTunes at Growing Trends

    Views: 49

  • Book Reviews,  Face Time,  Podcasts

    Heaven is a Garden – Jan Johnsen

    A few years ago I read a paper about how grasses ‘moved’ to music, then I read about the effects of harmonious sounds on plant growth.

    Just using white summer bedding is very effective in such a large garden

    Why do I mention this?

    Well a few weeks ago we were talking about Tesla and his discoveries, which led us to talking about vibrations, sound waves, force fields etc., then a strange thing happened.

    Ann and I interviewed a wonderful lady landscape architect Jan Johnsen, about her new book “Heaven is a Garden” we talked a little about how at a very young age she discovered during a science fair competition – which against all the odds she won – the effects early morning birds singing have on plants. The sound waves, which are similar to a violin stimulate a plant to open its stomata taking in carbon-dioxide to help it grow quicker.


    Jan has written a book called Heaven is a Garden, it’s a really fascinating and informative read.  Jan has ‘connected’ the dots so as to speak, between the natural world and our emotions. How the Four Winds are important when laying out a space,the careful use of curves, and my favorite Golden Rectangles and the Divine Proportion. – Phi is the mathematical proportion ( 1 : 1.618) we see in every natural form. Using this proportion ensures a sense of harmony in any outdoor space that contains it. I’ve always tried to use these proportions in my designs.

    Jan then talks about Trees – natures rechargers as she puts it… The Celts  shunnache,  the Hindu tree devas, and Greek dryads are really references to light energy? The Chinese call this energy chi…the Japanese consider the health giving properties of trees the basis of a medical therapy called ‘ Forest bathing’, it helps reduce stress.

    Jan then discusses the magnetic attraction in a Zen garden – rocks in these gardens reflect a deep understanding of the geomagnetic properties of stone and its impact on a place.

    Finally the benefits of color in a garden.

    Be inspired by Jan Johnsen's Book
    You can listen to our truly fascinating interview with Jan Johnsen  or if you prefer on iTunes at Growing Trends  or just click on the arrow below to start the interview

    We would love to hear from you if you like this interview

    Ann and Chris,


      Views: 139

    • Face Time,  Podcasts,  World Wide WEsponsibility

      The Growing Potential for Algae Part Two

      When we started this latest series of interviews with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet we soon realised how important Algae is to life on our planet.

      algae 3

      We never realised how interesting or how much interest these interviews would generate.

      algae 5

      Here’s the second part, it’s fascinating, informative and what the future holds for us all.

      algae 6

      Have a listen then drop us a line with your thoughts we would love to hear from you.

      You can hear our latest interview here – just click on the bar below or on iTunes at Growing Trends

      We would love to hear from you with ideas and suggestions, just drop us a line at info@growtrends.com


      Views: 115

    • Face Time,  Podcasts,  World Wide WEsponsibility

      Growing Potential for Algae – Part one

      Our interview this week is with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet, it’s all about the amazing properties of algae and  the work being done today that could transform many areas of our lives. This fascinating interview is in two parts, with the second part coming next week.



      Algae has some fascinating uses :-

      As an Energy Source –  a 737 plane flew from Houston to Chicago on fuel derived from algae, way back in 2011

      algae for jet fuel

      As a Fertilizer – from as long ago as the 16th century, seaweed has been used a fertilizer.

      As a source of Nutrition – China has been consuming Algae for over 2000 years, they harvest over 70 species as does Japan, Ireland, Chile, Wales,Korea, California, New Zealand, Hawaii, Scotland, Greenland and Iceland to name a few. It was an ingredient in Aztec foods.

      Oils obtained from some algae  have high levels of unsaturated fatty acids,others essential omega 3 fatty acids.

      As a Pollution control –  treating sewage with algae, reducing the use of toxic chemicals that would be used. They can absorb fertilizer run off from fields. Aquariums can be filtered by algae

      As a Pigment  – alternative to chemical dyes

      As a Medicine – helping fight malnutrition, immune health, reducing cholesterol

      algae 3

      Amazingly  there could be more than 72000 algae species worldwide.

      You can hear our interview with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet on iTunes at Growing Trends or here on our podcast just click below to hear 

      We would love to hear from you,

        Views: 59

      • Face Time,  Podcasts,  Time to Eat,  World Wide WEsponsibility

        Eating fresh local food

        Here in the USA its Spring, time to think about fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. It’s even more important this year with the continuing drought in California where a lot of the countries fresh produce is grown as they now have a mandatory 25% reduction in water use.

        If you are growing at home one of the most effective methods that has passed the passage of time is Mel Bartholomew’s  – Square Foot Gardening method – Ann and I will be interviewing Mel very soon.

        Square Foot Gardening

        Before we do, Ann and I were privileged to interview Nellie, she is a young mother who is passionate about eating fresh produce on a low budget.

        Our interview is inspiring for those who want to find the best way to eat fresh local food. Nellie explains how to balance your budget and yet find good healthy fresh food.

        This is one very astute young lady, who is passionate about food – her mum tells me,she is also a great cook..

        Views: 49

      • Face Time,  Podcasts,  World Wide WEsponsibility

        Country: Growing Trends -Small is beautiful in modern energy production


        Ann & Chris continue their talk with Rich Sapienza and Bill Sosinsky, starting with windmills and wind turbines.

        Rich is a believer in ‘Small is beautiful’ – the idea of making incremental savings of say 25% with smaller units being preferable to building huge systems that may or may not work.

        Most of the savings will come as we discover more efficient energy storage and they have been exploring some interesting options.

        We then move on to hydrogen power, thorium, Tesla and so much more. It’s fascinating to listen to the bright picture they paint for future generations..

        Views: 65